Denizen Studios is a New York-based, independent production company that specializes in exceptional, provocative works of non-fiction art and real-world impact. Leveraging documentary storytelling and advocacy, we create original and partnered content that informs, immerses, and inspires audiences toward collective progress.
We believe that the same techniques used to captivate audiences can and should be used to activate them.
Jacob Fertig and Jaydn Ray Gosselin founded DENIZEN at the start of 2020 to leverage their expertise in non-fiction storytelling and advocacy. Inspired by models of intimate co-creation, they have collaborated with multi-hyphenate artists, activists, curators, and educators to produce international stories and impact campaigns, including: Amnesty International Australia; the Academy Award-nominated team at Field of Vision; Doc Society; Forensic Architecture; Nursing Home Lives Matter; the Ads-Up Refugee Network; and Humanity in Action. Our projects have been covered in Forbes, The Guardian, The Independent, The Australian Book Review, New York Magazine’s The Cut, openDemocracy, and New York Daily News.
Originally called This Machine Media, the studio was rebranded as DENIZEN in 2022 to better reflect our company mission and ideals. A denizen is anyone who calls somewhere home, regardless of their legal status. By extension, we are committed to breaking down borders, creating diverse spaces of community and risk-taking, and reaching audiences worldwide through new modes of storytelling and collaboration.
CO-FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Jacob Fertig is a New York-based filmmaker and writer whose work unites documentary traditions and social action. He is a Senior Fellow at Humanity in Action, a 2020 Full Frame Fellow, 2021 Doc Society Art & Impact Fellow, a 2022 NYU Feature Development Studio Fellow, and a 2022 Doc Society Co-Creation Lab Fellow. He is producing the feature documentary ARCHITECT with directors Jaydn Ray Gosselin and Elahe Zivardar and the Academy Award-nominated team at Field of Vision. Jacob holds a BFA in Film & Television from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and an MPA in Nonprofit Management, Advocacy & Political Action from the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He resides on Lenape land and pays tribute to stewards past, present, and emerging.
Jaydn Ray Gosselin
CO-FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Jaydn Ray Gosselin is a US-based, French-Australian filmmaker who works at the intersection of art and advocacy. He is interested in how histories, memories, and traumas are embedded in community spaces, hidden sanctuaries, and built environments. He is working on his debut feature documentary, directed with Elahe Zivardar, ARCHITECT, executive produced by Field of Vision and Rebecca Barry and Madeleine Hitherto-Miau of Media Stockade. Jaydn is currently a Co-Creation Lab Fellow at Doc Society. He was previously an Art & Impact Fellow at Doc Society; a Doc.Lab.Interact Fellow with Anagram, ScreenVic, and AIDC; and a Development Studio Fellow at the NYU Production Lab. He holds a BFA in Film & Television from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He resides on Lenape land in New York and was raised on Gadigal land of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the place we now call Sydney.
Co-Creators & Collaborators
Artist, journalist, architect; Co-Director of ARCHITECT
Elahe is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Shakiba Productions. For six years, Elahe secretly recorded her imprisonment within the Australian-run Nauru Regional Processing Centre, and made documentaries using a camera smuggled in by the guards in return for cigarettes. Elahe has contributed to numerous publications, including The Guardian, The Australian Book Review, Post Human Glossary, openDemocracy, and “Border Criminologist at Oxford Law Faculty” on abolitionist strategies to end refugee detention. Her anonymously attributed footage has appeared in the BBC, The Guardian, and CNN. She graduated from Kashan University and Azad Shushter University in Iran; and she holds an Associate and a Bachelor’s degree in architecture.
Documentary filmmaker, multimedia journalist; Co-Director of YEAR OF THE OX
An international artist based between Singapore and New York City, Carin's documentary CANCIONES DE MEMORIAS premiered at the 29th Singapore International Film Festival, and her upcoming documentary, SANDCASTLES, was selected for IF/Then SEA jointly organized by Tribeca Film Institute and IN-DOCS in 2020. SANDCASTLES will be distributed by Field of Vision in 2022. She has produced audio stories for Mothership.SG’s podcast, No Short Answers. She is a 2020 Fellow with the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and a BFA/BS graduate from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and Stern School of Business.
Political scientist, producer, and writer; Co-Producer of ARCHITECT
Elahe is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Shakiba Productions. Mehran Ghadiri is a political scientist and international relations analyst with many years of first-hand experience working in a broad range of roles directly in support of refugees resettled and living in Australia. As well as his unique insights into the inner workings of Australia’s refugee system and detention industry, he brings a detailed understanding of the global forces that create and manipulate refugee flows for financial and political gain. Mehran is currently authoring a detailed analysis of the political, economic and societal effects of Australia’s policies in Nauru.